Date: Thu Mar 31 1994 00:32:00
From: Sheppard Gordon
Subj: Re: OMNI UFO articles
OMNI's UFO issue swirls around from merely foolish to ridiculous
The Ottawa Citizen
Radio phone-in shows attract a certain type. Anyone who has ever
listened to one of these shows will know exactly what I'm talking
about. These callers are often frustrated and angry and a few
minutes on the air is a perfect vent for their frustrations.
Many of these callers also happen to be firm believers in UFOs.
If you've ever listened to the American radio show Larry King Live,
you'll be familiar with the UFO callers. These people seem
convinced that there has been a government conspiracy since the
end of the Second World War to keep knowledge about UFOs away from
the general populace. Other callers claim to have been abducted by
aliens, but they're another case altogether.
I once heard Larry King ask one of these conspiracy buffs why he
thought the U.S. government would want to keep this a secret. To
which the caller replied that aliens are "millions of years more
advanced than we are and the knowledge of their existence would
cause mass panic.
King came back with a classic retort:
"If they are so far advanced, why are they always breaking down in
some farmer's field in Nebraska? Why don't they ever land on the
White House Lawn? Or on Wall Street?
Unfortunately, or perhaps predictably, none of these important
questions is answered in the April issue of OMNI .
OMNI professes to be a serious science magazine for the layman. You
would never know it from the April issue.
Under the heading 50 Years of Close Encounters -- The UFO
Conspiracy, the magazine takes you on a trip from the merely
foolish to the completely ridiculous -- though I'm sure that was
not the intention of the editors.
Take the lead story, Cosmic Conspiracy: Six Decades of Government
UFO Cover-Ups. It starts with a description of an encounter of the
psychotic kind that supposedly took place near Corona, New Mexico,
A sheep rancher saw a flash in the sky and then discovered debris
scattered over his pastures. The U.S. military was called in and
shortly after issued a press release that landed on the front page
of the Roswell Daily Record and appeared in the "prestigious"
London Times. This press release was an admission that a piece of
UFO had indeed been found.
But wouldn't you know it. A few hours after the announcement came
out, the military held a press conference to say that this UFO was
really pieces of a weather balloon.
But not everyone is so gullible. As Stanton Friedman, author and
nuclear physicist, tells OMNI : "Unfortunately, the media bought
the Air-Force cover-up hook, line and sinker. And so began what
Friedman has cleverly coined "Cosmic Watergate.
From here on in, the link between reality and conspiracy is
explained in the most roundabout terms. The U.S. government has
refused to release tonnes of classified information, and therefore
there must be something going on -- even though much of this data
has absolutely nothing to do with UFOs.
The writer gives the story extra spin by referring to all U.S.
installations by means of adjectives such as "ultrasecret (not the
deodorant), "super-top-secret and "supersecret.
But things only get worse.
The Great High-Rise Abduction, another in the Omni collection, goes
something like this: At 3 a.m. one Manhattan morning three people,
"a major political figure, who will remain unnamed, and two
government agents spied a glowing oval object hovering over a
building a couple of blocks away. At least we're finally getting
closer to Wall Street.
A woman floated out of an apartment building, where she was
surrounded by some creatures and whisked into a waiting craft. The
craft did a little zip-a-dee-doo-dah over the Brooklyn Bridge and
then dove into the East River.
Somehow this story links to the work of "world-class modern artist
Budd Hopkins, who has written extensively on UFO abductions.
Hopkins is very excited about this story "because he has found a
case that might convince the army of skeptics who have hounded him
Now, tell us Budd just relax who exactly is hounding you? Could it
be the international cover-up conspiracy? Wait a second, isn't
that E.T. calling you home?